In daily GOP conference calls, Senate Republicans discussed their next steps and focused on their new approach, which is a tiny fraction of the $ 2.2 trillion price tag that House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has to the White House During their stalled negotiations, sources have offered on the calls. The White House has turned down the speaker’s price tag, which is down from the over $ 3 trillion bill that Pelosi pushed through the house in May.
The Senate’s new GOP goal, according to sources, is to get 51 votes to demonstrate that a clear majority in the chamber supports the stripped-down approach. With control of the Senate in November, Republicans said, a united front would give them a stronger hand to present to the electorate, as many of their constituents await a new round of incentives and millions are still unemployed.
But the plan has virtually no chance of becoming law if Democrats strongly oppose it not going far enough.
Still, according to Republican sources, Republicans are confident they are getting closer to that goal after weeks of disagreement over the next phase of the stimulus.
A significant number of Republicans were outraged by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell̵
Even if Republicans managed to get 51 votes, the plan would not move forward as it would take 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
And the fight for the next round of economic activity could feed into the fight to keep the government open after September 30, when federal agencies run out of money without new funding laws.
With the Senate on break until next week, the exact timing of the vote on the new GOP plan is unclear. But top Republicans believe that once it is clear that there are 51 votes, McConnell will take the necessary procedural steps to set up a showdown vote to get the move down.
Senator John Barrasso, the GOP chairman of Senate No. 3, told reporters Tuesday morning that the Senate GOP plans to hold a procedural vote to incorporate the reduced stimulus plan that Republican senators developed during the August recess. He called this calculation a “focused, targeted solution” and said, “That’s the goal – to come back and vote to get there.”
The Republican plan provides around $ 10 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service, as well as $ 105 billion for schools and small business loans under the paycheck protection program. While the Democrats have called for a renewal of the expired $ 600 a week unemployment benefit, Republicans are pushing for $ 300 a week for the unemployed.
In a conference call with the House Democratic Caucus on Monday, Pelosi told members that funding from state and local governments – which the Democrats want to fund nearly $ 1 trillion – is still a major sticking point. The spokeswoman has told her members that she doesn’t believe the White House wants a deal that can become law.
After speaking with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows last week, Pelosi disapproved of the GOP’s approach.
“The Democrats agree, but the Republicans are in disarray,” Pelosi said in a letter to her colleagues. “Press reports say that Mitch McConnell’s proposal fell to $ 500 billion and that Mark Meadows says the White House could go to $ 1.3 trillion. Neither of these proposals would meet the needs of American workers and families.”
On Tuesday, Meadows also suggested that state and local aid remain the biggest hurdle to a deal.
“The spokesman still has $ 915 billion, which is really just not a number,” Meadows said on CNBC.
CNN’s Betsy Klein and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.